Tom Cruise Fired the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE Insurance Company So He Could Do the Burj Khalifa Stunt

     June 26, 2015


Tom Cruise is one of the hardest working performers in Hollywood history. He gives every film his complete, undivided attention, doing every thing he can do make the movie as good as it can possibly be. This extends to stunt sequences where, as we’re all aware, Cruise makes a habit of putting his life in danger for our entertainment. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the Mission: Impossible franchise, where the actor seems to up the ante for each successive film. He took performing his own stunts to new heights (literally) with the fourth movie in the franchise, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, in which Cruise genuinely hung, ran, and jumped off the side of the tallest building in the world. The result is one of the most thrilling set pieces in recent memory, but it almost didn’t happen.


Image via Paramount Pictures

Steve recently spoke with Skydance Production CEO David Ellison and CCO Dana Goldberg during a group interview at the Berlin premiere of Terminator Genisys, and during the course of their wide-ranging conversation, Ellison told a great story about the Burj Khalifa stunt sequence from Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol:

“On Ghost Protocol, we wanted to hang Tom off the side of a building and we actually couldn’t get insurance, and Tom wanted to fire the insurance company [laughs]. And we did and we got somebody to insure the movie. A hilarious but true story is it was the day we were actually rehearsing the Burj Khalifa, it was the whole stunt team, Tom on the side of the building, me, [director] Brad Bird, and [producer] Bryan Burk, and Tom was padded up, had the helmet on, and we had rehearsed for months inside these hangars and sound stages and Tom kicked off the building and, as he would describe it, spectacularly crashed into it head first, and me and Burk and Brad were like ‘this is a really bad idea’. In true Tom fashion, while we were all arguing amongst ourselves about how we were the largest idiots known to mankind for putting ourselves in this situation, Tom reset back to one with the stunt guys and nailed it perfectly on the second rehearsal. And we all kind of looked at each other and were like, ‘Well, that’s why he’s Tom Cruise.’ We shot it the next day. We shot it twice and it was spectacular.”

It’s unclear if Cruise hanging off the side of a damn airplane in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation will top the Burj Khalifa sequence, but we can certainly bet that Cruise will be doing everything in his power to try. Rogue Nation opens in theaters on July 31st.

For more on what’s coming up from Skydance, click on the links below. Terminator Genisys opens July 1st.


Image via Paramount Pictures

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